Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number3   September 2021                                        Pp. 144-158

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How Impoliteness Is Portrayed in a School Context: The Marva Collins as a Case Study

Mariam Fouad Kadhum
Department of English,  College of Education for Women
University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
Corresponding Author:

 Nawal Fadhil Abbas
Department of English, College of Education for Women
University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq


Received:  5/27/2021              Accepted:  7/8/2021               Published: 9/24/2021

The present study attempts to examine verbal/nonverbal impoliteness in the classroom interaction and outside it in one of the movies, namely, The Marva Collins. Impoliteness, which is significantly studied within pragmatics, is a negative attitude towards particular behaviors. It always presumes to have emotional concerns for at least one participant who has caused it. This study is an attempt to examine verbal/nonverbal impoliteness in The Marva Collins movie. The study aims to investigate the different types of impoliteness strategies used in the four selected scenes and find out whether the speaker’s status has anything to do with the types of impoliteness.  Besides, the functions performed are also examined by following a qualitative method of research. To achieve the aim of the study, the researchers adopt Culpeper’s model of impoliteness (1996, 2005). The study has concluded that positive impoliteness is the most dominant type of impoliteness, followed by withholding politeness. Moreover, the characters in The Marva Collins mostly employ affective impoliteness rather than the other functions of impoliteness. It is indicated to let the speaker imply the duty of the hearer to produce a negative emotional state.  As a final point, Culpeper is the workable model used in analysing the data of this study.
Keywords: Culpeper’s model of impoliteness, (im) politeness, negative impoliteness, positive impoliteness,  pragmatics, The Marva Collins

Cite as:  Kadhum, M. F., &  Abbas, N. F. (2021). How impoliteness is portrayed in a school context: The Marva Collins as a case study .
Arab World English Journal, 12 (3) 144-158.


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Received: 5/27/2021
Accepted: 7/8/2021 
Published: 9/24/2021 

Mariam Fouad Kadhim is an M.A. student in the Department of English, College of Education for Women in the University of Baghdad. Her major is Linguistics and she has interests in several fields within Linguistics including Applied Linguistics.

Nawal Fadhil Abbas got her PhD in English Language and Linguistics in 2014 from the school of Humanities, University of Sains Malaysia. Now she is an assistant professor teaching at the College of Education for Women, University of Baghdad. Her field of study is Semantics and Pragmatics. Other fields of interest include Critical Discourse Analysis, Critical Stylistics and Corpus Linguistics.